How to Advocate to Your Lawmaker, Part 2

Welcome! This is the 2nd part of the Alliance’s free 4-part course How to Advocate to Your Lawmaker. If you haven’t already, we encourage you to complete part 1 before you start this one.

2.1 What Should I Ask the Lawmaker For?


Goal: Prepare a Clear and Specific Ask.

You’ll want to know what you’re asking the lawmaker for. In general, there are two kinds of requests:

  • Policy asks focus on urging the lawmaker to support specific legislation to address homelessness or particular funding levels in annual appropriations.
  • Relationship-building asks focus on creating a long-term connection with lawmakers and their staff. Examples include asking the lawmaker to visit your group or organization or contribute a statement to your organization’s newsletter.

In the future, you may want to use both types of asks.

For the National Alliance to End Homelessness’s Capitol Hill Day 2022, we are encouraging advocates to make these specific policy asks:

  1. Increased funding for Continuum of Care grants (You can learn more about what Continuums of Care are here.)
  2. Increased funding of Housing Choice Vouchers, also known as Section 8 vouchers (You can learn more about Housing Choice Vouchers here.)

Here’s why:

These five fact sheets provide more detail:

Put It Into Practice

To get ideas for future advocacy efforts, stay in touch with the Alliance by checking our policy page and by signing up for advocacy alerts.

2.2 How Do I Make It Compelling?


Goal: Develop a Compelling Message.

Stories are powerful. You might want to use your personal story, the stories of your neighbors and friends, or a story about something you’re witnessing from the perspective of a provider or system leader.

Here are thoughts from advocates we know:

 

Put It Into Practice

Use this worksheet to craft your story.

You’ve completed 2 of 4 pages. Up next, we’ll talk through what you’ll want to know about your lawmaker before you meet with them.